The Ottawa Catholic School Board will be well-represented in space this year. Both of the experiments devised by students in the OCSB’s Program for Gifted Learners have been chosen by the Cubes in Space program for launch this summer.
The clever students in our Program for Gifted Learners classes at St. Brother Andre School in Gloucester and St. Andrew School in Nepean were the only two Canadian groups selected to participate in the 2022 international program.
The proposed experiments are exceptionally different and required months of collaborative research by 150 students from 45 schools in the board. Students worked through the scientific method to propose experiments that study the effects of space travel on two entities– epinephrine and seeds. Both experiments seek to provide research into improving astronauts’ and crew’s physical and mental health. Furthermore, these experiments must fit in a 4x4x4cm cube!
Our students rose to the challenge, and with the help of University of Ottawa chemistry Professor P. Mayer, they came up with innovative projects to test in space! Their experiments launched in a sounding rocket on June 24, 2022, from the NASA facility at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Wallops, Virginia. The whole launch was live-streamed on the NASA website. The second group of experiments will launch in a high-altitude research balloon sometime later in the summer.
The work for these students has just begun. When the experiments return from their space voyages, students will compile a report for Cubes in Space about the effects on the epinephrine and seeds. They look forward to sharing their findings with the OCSB as well.